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Don't be ashamed of being depressed

We need to fight depression, not just because it helps people, but it saves us from cryptic status updates.<br />

I think it’s important to fight depression — not only to help people, but also to save us from cryptic status updates with sad song lyrics in them.

I’ve been there. You’re convinced life is hopeless, and before long you’re telling your Facebook friends that all we are is dust in the wind.

This does no good to you or your friends because some will be annoyed that you’ve gone emo, while others will miss your mood altogether and start a thread with comments saying, “DUDE!!! I LOVE THAT SONG!!!”

For the previous three years, I was depressed — not the kind of depression you get when you spill coffee on your laptop and sigh a lot, nor the kind where you lose a promising relationship and have a long talk with Alexander Keith.

No, it was the kind of depression where you find life big and painful and decide you should just stay in bed until there’s peace in the Middle East.

At one point I literally stayed in bed for a month, save for breaks to take a shower. I was such a drag the bedbugs said, “All right, we’re out of here.”

I’m better now, though I still see a therapist. I’ve seen a few in the last three years — starting with a guy who cocked his eyebrow like a Vulcan when I said I worked in comedy. If it had been an ’80s sitcom, he would have pushed the intercom button and said, “Cancel my three o’clock.”

Comedians are like country singers. If we were 100 per cent happy, we’d lose our ability to write anything.
But I still wanted to be, say, 75 per cent happy, so I mustered enough energy to find a friend and a job, and that nascent support system grew on its own until I felt lifted up.

Feeling better about myself, I forwent the cryptic status update recently and wrote on Facebook directly: I had been depressed, had hated myself, had gotten help, and if you feel the same way, you should get help, too.

And, much to my amazement, people did.

So with a (hopefully) wider audience, let me say it again: If you’re depressed, there is nothing to be ashamed of, any more than you would be ashamed of a broken arm. Seek help.

After all, if Facebook can be a practical force for good, there’s hope for everything.

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